With a new “miracle” program or “nutrient”  on every corner, most people are completely confused by all the conflicting information out there. Slick marketing and fads have left Americans fatter and frustrated by fact that weight seems to be found shortly after it’s lost.

Most people (including “trainers” and “fitness experts” are so focused on the newest diet or the latest exercise trend that most people (if not all) have absolutely no conception of the How’s and Why’s of a successful weight loss or fitness plan.

Whenever I begin to work with a new client, more often than not, they see at least a dress size decrease every 3 or 4 weeks. Usually, they look at me and say “that’s magic” and I reply “no, it’s science

While you can certainly lose weight on a 1200 calorie a day “diet” with hours of cardio, it is typically miserable and neither the program nor the results last.

STOP COUNTING CALORIES There are a gazillion apps and websites out there that will allow you to track your calorie intake to the nth degree and even more “diets” revolving around the “400 calories” meal or “1200 calorie” day.

I will often have clients log their food for a few weeks to get a general idea of what they are taking in (calories have a way of sneaking up on you with a bite here and handful there) and ALWAYS have clients learn to read nutrition panels.

While it is important to have a basic idea of what you are putting into your body, what’s MORE, important is the TYPE of calories you are putting into your body.  The thermic effect of food (TEF) is a dirty little secret I’ve been sharing with our clients for YEARS that allows them to eat more than their friends, enjoy their favorite foods, never feel hungry and still lose weight and reshape their bodies.

TEF is just a fancy word for the energy used in digestion, absorption, and distribution of nutrients. It is one of the components of metabolism along with resting metabolic rate and exercise. The primary determinants of daily TEF are the number of meals consumed per the size of the meals and the composition of the meals. For instance, the TEF of protein is up to 20% higher than carbs or fats. This is one of the reasons very high protein diets produce (short-term if not drastic) results.

I am in NO WAY saying to cut out all of the carbs and fats in your diet and sustain yourself on only protein.  Your body needs (clean) carbs and good fats as much as it does protein What I am saying is that macronutrients are more important than calories if your goal is to lose fat and reshape your body.

Another thing that affects TEF IS … you guessed it. Chemicals, preservatives, and the level to which the food is processed.

If our clients and Facebook community have heard me say it once, they’ve heard me say it 1000 times, “Count ingredients, NOT calories”

Research has found that the thermic effect of food contributes to the fact that calories may not all be equal in terms of weight gain.  To put it simply, your body does not know what to do with chemicals,
preservatives, and additives found in most processed foods so does not process them as efficiently and is more apt to store those calories as ugly fat.

Take away point:
High (er) -Protein, (25-30%) + High-Fiber =  fat loss

Not only do you burn extra calories by eating protein (TEF), but research shows that people on a high(er) protein diet are less hungry in between meals and at mealtime.

It takes longer for food to be absorbed by your body when you increase your fiber intake and you will feel fuller longer. 20-25g of fiber a day is the recommended amount for general health/wellness

If you haven’t already done so, click HERE to grab your FREE copy of my Special Report “22 Big Fat Lies Keeping You From The Body You Want” and discover the lies the fitness industry (and maybe even your Dr) are telling you that are keeping them in business and keeping you from the body you deserve.

Dianne Villano
Author: Dianne Villano

Dianne Villano is an MExPhys, NASM CFT , author of “How To Lose Fat & Reshape Your Body in 21 Days” and “The Ultimate Belly Blast Program”. She is president of Custom Bodies which has been serving the Tampa Bay with cutting edge nutrition & fitness programs for 18 years. Miss Villano is a frequent speaker on health and fitness related topics with articles published in over 20 media outlets.

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